Tree Kangaroos: Meet These Never-Before-Seen Creatures in the Wild

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Next, men held Trish's ears to calm her and stop her from biting or clawing as Dabek measured the animal. They took off Trish's radio collar and for the first time ever, put on a tiny camera from National Geographic, called the "Crittercam."

Researchers have placed similar cameras on animals like squids and sharks and lions in the past. If it works, the cameras will record the world as Trish sees it.

It's intense and stressful work, but Dabek said it is worth it -- especially if the camera is a success.

"We have no idea what they do on top on the canopy -- so we want to see what plants they eat, what they're doing up there, so we're basically getting a window into her world," she said. "This is an animal we don't know a lot about."

Not long ago, villagers used to hunt and eat tree kangaroos. But with Dabek's help, they've now set aside over 180,000 acres of rain forest to protect the animals. It's part of a huge cultural shift.

World Through the Eyes of a 'Tree 'Roo'

The next day, we joined the team to look for another tree kangaroo, a young one who was recently captured for the first time. A few days earlier, the team fitted the animal with a camera. Researchers hope to get the first view of the world through the eyes of a "tree 'roo."

Finally, we spotted the animal. Again, it was way up in the trees. It was the same drill: Villagers chopped out an area safe enough for the tree 'roo to land and a man climbed up the tree to scare the animal down.

After they got the tree 'roo down and in the bag, they found that the camera -- with its much-anticipated roo's-eye video -- was gone.

It's was a huge disappointment for Dabek. Even as it began to pour, the locals combed the forest, searching under trees where the animal may have recently been. And against all odds, they found it.

Under a tarp in the pounding rain, the team entered the private world of the reclusive animal they've spent years of their lives trying to understand and protect.

It was oddly mesmerizing to watch as the 'roo climbs up trees, snacks on orchids and ferns and ventures out onto thin branches with dizzying views.

Dabek appeared to tear up as she watched. She was told it couldn't be done. But 15 years later, she's watching a breakthrough in the making.

And with that -- the tree 'roo goes scampering off -- a new, unwitting ambassador for a rare, endangered species.

To learn more about saving the tree kangaroos in Papua New Guinea, click here.

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